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All rights reserved. Unauthorized use or reproduction of coyrighted materials is strictly prohibited. Simplicity Vs Complexity
By Claudia Vidal, Fashion Designer

Nobody wants to only look simple. Without the counterpoint of complexity, we could not recognize simplicity when we see it.

Acknowledging contrasts helps to identify qualities that we desire-which are often subject to change. We know how to appreciate something better when we can compare it to something else.

Simplicity and complexity rely on each other. The more complexity there is in the Fashion market, the more that something simpler stands out. Establishing a feeling of simplicity in design requires making complexity consciously available in some explicit form. This relationship can be manifest in either the same product or experience, or in contrast offerings in the same category- like the simplicity of Ralph Lauren Designs in comparison to its more complex competitors like John Galliano.

Within the same experience, finding the right balance between simplicity and complexity is difficult. The closest example to this experience is in the concept of rhythm. Think of rhythm within a space, like a painting where your eyes travel across the image and the experience changes. The rhythm of how simplicity and complexity occur in time and space holds the key.

If given an empty space or any extra accessory, complex designers would invent something to fill the area; they would not want to pass up a potential lost opportunity. On the other hand, simple designers would do their best to preserve the emptiness because of their perspective that less is more. The opportunity lost by increasing the amount of blank space is gained back with enhanced attention on what remains.
Creating a white space enables the foreground to stand out from the background. However being around to what surrounds us in the ambient environment can sometimes help to mange what is immediately in front of us. Synthesizing the ambient experience of simplicity requires attention to everything that seemingly does not matter.

Complexity implies the feeling of being lost; simplicity implies the feeling of being found. There is an important exchange between being completely lost in the unknown and completely found in the familiar. Dated designs can have the positive aspect of making complete sense, which sometime can seem boring; bold designs can have the negative commotions of danger, which to some can seem a challenge.

From a rational perspective, simplicity makes good economic sense. Simple objects are easier and less expensive to produce, and those savings can be translated directly to the consumer with desirable low prices. As evidence by the extremely affordable line of H&M or Zara compared to an Haute Couture line of Chanel, simplicity benefits the frugal shopper.

Simplicity is hopelessly subtle, and many of its defining characteristic are implicit. Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful. In order to avoid complexity and achieve simplicity there are 3 main keys to follow:

  • AWAY- More appears like less by simply moving it far, far away
  • OPEN- Openness simplifies complexity.
  • POWER- Use less, gain more

    When your entire life is reduced to a single shelf of curios, what memories might you preserve? Life may be complex, but in the end life is simple. The small mementos are the few precious things that you can afford to keep at the end of your life when you already have so little.

    See Claudia Vidal' Portfolio @ New York Best Models